Ferrari’s biggest official fan club has paid tribute to outgoing president Luca di Montezemolo with a special rally outside of the team’s Maranello headquarters this week.
The Caprino Bergamasco regularly appears at Monza with its giant heart-shaped Ferrari flag, dominating the main straight and the celebrations under the podium following each race.
However, it has now made another appearance in 2014 as its members met outside the team’s factory to thank Luca di Montezemolo ahead of his resignation in the middle of October.
After 23 years as president, Montezemolo confirmed earlier this month that he would be stepping down after months of speculation, making way for Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to take over.
In his premiership, Montezemolo has overseen the most successful period in Ferrari’s history, winning fourteen world championships. Michael Schumacher claimed five straight drivers’ titles between 2000 and 2004, with the team’s constructors’ championship streak lasting from 1999 until 2004.
Further championships followed in 2007 and 2008, but the team has since entered something of a drought, failing to win a race in over a year.
The Caprino Bergamasco branch of the Scuderia Ferrari Club, the one with the most members of any Ferrari club in the world, made a point of bringing along the giant heart flag, that features the Scuderia Ferrari logo. It is now a regular feature of the Monza Grand Prix and today, it was unfurled at the factory entrance in Via Abetone, as the fans shouted out “Thank you President, you will always be in our hearts.”
The sentiment was aimed at the man who has contributed more than anyone to Ferrari’s success, with 14 world titles won in the past 15 years and no less than 118 races won during his Presidency. As the flag with the giant heart and the Prancing Horse was unfurled, the tourists visiting the nearby Ferrari Store, along with passers-by all joined in the commotion with motorists hooting their horns.
Montezemolo will step down following the Russian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.